Latin/3rd Declension Lesson 2

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Salvēte omnēs!

Here we go with a second lesson exploring the 3rd declension of Latin nouns. For a guide to previous lessons and a classified vocabulary list, be sure to check out the links on the right.

New Grammar[edit | edit source]

Last lesson we looked at the basic grammatical divisions of 3rd declension nouns and some of the rules/guidelines for sorting them out; and we studied the nominative and accusative cases for these nouns. I highly recommend a lot of review for 3rd declension nouns since there are so many irregularities, so you may want to check over that lesson one more time, linked above.

This week’s lesson will focus on the ablative case. As we’ve seen before with the 1st and second declensions, the ablative case is used to express the object of certain prepositions. But it also is used for so many more functions, and we're going to introduce one additional use today: the ablative of means. Compare the following sentences:

Mīlitēs cum hominibus pugnant. = The soldiers fight with the men.

cum hominibus is a prepositional phrase, with hominibus being the abl. pl object of the prep. “With the men” means in the same physical space as the men, but the men are not being picked up and used as weapons or instruments. Cum is the required preposition for ablative of accompaniment.

Mīlitēs gladiīs pugnant. = The soldiers fight with the swords/by means of swords.

This is an example of the ablative of means. Here gladius is also in the ablative plural and in English is expressed as a prepositional phrase; however in Latin no preposition is needed to show the non-living means or instrument; the ablative case alone does this.

Cum virtūte pugnat. = He fights with courage/in a courageous manner.

This is an example of the ablative of manner. Unlike the ablative of means which always uses concrete nouns/things, the ablative of manner always uses abstract/intangible nouns. To make things extra confusing, we have to use cum with this ablative use UNLESS there is a modifying adjective, in which case it’s optional. I’ll include a few of these but there will be a need for much more extensive ablative lessons later on.

Now, just to keep things interesting, we will also introduce a few new prepositions; and these are prepositions that take an accusative object. (We could have introduced them last lesson but there was already so much content to include.) Most Latin prepositions take either accusative or ablative case, and it’s best to memorize which one when you study vocab. in is a special preposition because it can use either case as object, with a change of meaning.

Ablative singular ending for the 3rd declension is -e; ablative plural is -ibus. We’ll also be mixing in a few ablatives from previous declensions to keep those in practice.

case name sing. pl. typical use
nominative (m./f.) --- -ēs subject or predicate noun
nominative (n.) --- -(i)a
genitive -is -(i)um possession, the “of” case
dative -ibus indirect object, the “to/for” case
accusative (m.) -em -ēs direct object (also some objects of preps.)
accusative (n.) --- -(i)a
ablative -e -ibus objects of prepositions, etc. “by/with/from” case

New Vocabulary[edit | edit source]

Latin English Audio (Classical)
caput, capitis (n.) head
corpus, corporis (n.) body
iter, itineris (n.) journey, route, march
labor, labōris, (m.) work, effort, toil
pēs, pedis (m.) foot
proelium, i (n.) (2) battle
tēlevīsiō, tēlevīsiōnis television
timor, timōris (m.) fear
virtūs, virtūtis (f.) courage, virtue, manliness
in (prep. w. acc.) into, onto, against
in (prep. w. abl.) in, on
post (prep. w. acc.) after, behind
propter (prep. w. acc.) on account of, because of
pugnō, 1 (intr.) fight

New Sentences[edit | edit source]

Latin English Notes
Gāius vulnus in pede habet. Gaius has a wound in the foot.
Mīlitēs post proelium multa vulnera habent. The soldiers have many wounds after the battle.
Frāter tuus vulnus in capite habet. Your brother has a wound in his head.
Lūcia et Paula vulnera in pedibus habent. Lucia and Paula have wounds in their feet.
Pedēs meī magnī sunt. My feet are big.
Mīles gladiō pugnat. The soldier fights with a sword.
Mīles cum nautā pugnat. The soldier fights with the sailor.
Mīlitēs magnā cum virtūte pugnant./ Milites magnā virtute pugnant. The soldiers fight with great courage. ablative of manner, cum is optional
Mārcus propter timōrem nōn pugnat. Marcus does not fight because of fear.
In flūmine est. He is in the river. With ablative, in shows position without reference to motion.
In flūmen ambulat. He walks into the river. With accusative, in shows motion toward something.
Caput sine corpore in tēlevīsiōne videō. I see a head without a body on television.
Mīlitēs longō itinere in Galliam ambulant. The soldiers walk by the long route into Gaul.
Iter est longum. The journey is long.
Mīlitēs in Galliam magnīs itineribus ambulant. The soldiers walk into Gaul by means of great journeys/ forced marches. Idiomatic in classical Latin, especially Caesar.
Post hoc, ergō propter hoc. After this, therefore because of this famous logical fallacy

Practice[edit | edit source]

Practice and learn the words and phrases in this lesson
Step one First learn the words using this lesson:
Step two Next try learning and writing the sentencing using this:
Note that the Memrise stage covers the content for all lessons in each stage.
If you are skipping previous stages you may need to manually "ignore" the words in previous levels (use the 'select all' function)

Thank you for following along with these lessons. We hope they are helpful.

Habēte bonam fortūnam!